All posts by FuerteCharter

FuerteCharter´s setting

As we said in the introduction of this blog, living in an island like Fuerteventura is a real stroke of luck. Anywhere you look at nature offers you spectacular sights.

FuerteCharter is lucky to carry out its daily activity — boat trips on Kayak, SUP and Snorkel— in the north-east of the Island of Fuerteventura, in the coastal town of Corralejo.

Corralejo —a town of seafarers that life turned into the most visited tourist site in the North of the island —is the link between Fuerteventura and our neighbour island, Lanzarote, from which “El estrecho de la Bocaina” separates us (15km), and in the middle of these two islands, wild and isolated, the islet of “Lobos” stands out. It seems that in ancient geological ages “El estrecho de la Bocaina” didn’t exist and the two island — as well as the islet of “Lobos” — made up a single tract of land.

The strait offers perfect conditions for sailing, due to the trade winds channelling, so this is the favourite daily route of FuerteCharter which, depending on the conditions, offers either trips to Lobos or journeys to the neighbour island, Lanzarote.
The branch of sea that separates Fuerteventura from Lobos is a canal known as “El Río”. It’s located 2km away from Corralejo, and its waters aren’t deeper than 10m.

The islet of “Lobos”, with an area of 6km2 and a maximum height of 127m at the volcanic cone of “La Caldera”, took its name from the ancient inhabitants of its coasts: a colony of monk and fur seals. This islet has a unique landscape and it is part of the Natural Park “Dunas de Corralejo”, a beauty which doesn’t leave indifferent to visitors and residents alike.  It’s an area of great wealth and biological value — land as well as sea bed, and it has been declared marine reserve— which we’ll describe more in detail in next articles, where we’ll tell you about the lighthouse-keeper —Antoñito—  and his family, who inhabited it until 1968, about its marine species, its wetlands, its beach of “La Concha” and its pretty little harbour.

Another of the charms we can highlight in this area are the different recommended scuba diving spots, like “El Veril del Calamareo”, with vaults and caves and corridors among rocks, “El Veril de La Bocaina”, “El Bajón del Río”, with a mix of rock and pristine sand, “El punto de los Becerros”, standing out because of the great amount of fish, and the area of “La Carrera”, with little currents and very protected from the winds.

No doubt, FuerteCharter enjoys a great privilege. Would you like to come and share it with us?

FuerteCharter’s team

FuerteCharter: more than a sailing trip

If you walk along Corralejo’s Wharf you will probably meet Ildefonso Chacón — better known as Fonfo—, a sea lover from the North of Fuerteventura, and the manager of our company FuerteCharter.

The relationship of Fonfo with the sea started when he was very young, as despite being from Puerto del Rosario his parents always had a house in Corralejo, in Waikiki beach. So, being knee-high to a grasshopper he had his first boat and in the different stages of his youth he practised all the water sports he found in his way.

Fonfo remembers the years when Fuerteventura, mainly Corralejo, was a desert paradise, with waves for the few people who dared ride them, and he also remembers some athletes visiting the islands, famous nowadays — like Björn Dunkerbeck — who were not but children then, displaying water tricks that majorero inhabitants could not have imagined.

They were other times, as he says, and although the deep solitude of the desert landscape hardly exists nowadays he is delighted with an island full of visitors and residents from so many different nationalities who have done their bit — and keep doing it — to enrich this paradise that his Island, Fuerteventura, is.

His sea calling, as we have said, took place when he was very young: we could say that salty water flows in his veins. And so did the business calling, as his charter company Fuertecharter, which nowadays is about to become 10, stemmed from other family companies: Deportes Chacón and Naútica Chacón.

At present Fonfo runs FuerteCharter together with his wife Inma Morales, also accompanied by an excellent working team, whom he is sincerely thankful for taking Fuertecharter to what it is nowadays: a charter company in Corralejo with many added values.

FuerteCharter’s main aim is to share with our clients —and infect them with— our love for the sea. It’s not all just about taking them on a sailing trip to Lobos, it’s not just about enjoying that sailing trip and the wonders of nature but about going beyond that, encouraging them to get challenges they had never considered before, offering them different activities like learning how to use a kayak, a SUP, breathing through a snorkel tube, having a bath surrounded by schools of fish, feeding them… Being open to learning new things every day!

In order to carry out these activities, Fuertecharter counts on two different kinds of vessels: a catamaran and an inflatable motor boat to rent for private sailing trips (closed groups) as well as for open groups. The experience and the knowledge of the area turn the combination of both vessels in the same trip into the best way of visiting our neighbour island, as apart from the incomparable sailing trip around Lobos Island, the inflatable motor boat will let you explore the little ponds in this place, a true paradise, difficult to describe with words.

We can go on to talk about Fuertecharter’s professionalism and pampering when dealing with all those people embarking on their adventures, but the best thing is that you come to try and tell other people about it. We’ll be waiting for you!

FuerteCharter’s team

Prickle pears: Fuerteventura landscape

Fuerteventura’s landscape is distinguished by its desert expanse. Kilometres of land that are presented to the eye and as endless plains where the sight gets lost, interrupted by some hills, volcanoes, mountains and “malpaises”.

However, so much flat arid terrain is often dotted with cactus, painting of green the most curious corners on this island of the wind.

The prickle pear cactus, as Opuntia cactus are called in the Canaries, are shrubby plants belonging to the genus of cacti.

ORIGIN AND DISTRIBUTION
There are around 250 subspecies of Opuntias and they all come from America, although in Europe many of them have been naturalized and are considered invasive.

They can be distributed from sea level to 3000 meters high.

In the Canaries, the first non-American territory where they were grown, there are two of these subspecies considered invasive and they have been naturalized on islands

  • Opuntia ficus
  • Opuntia dillenii

The other subspecies can be sometimes found scattered on the edges of roads or around detached houses.

 

MORPHOLOGY
The main feature of prickle pear cacti is growing in segments, called cladodes or “blades”, from which other cladodes sprout, as well as flowers, and also producing the delicious fruit: figs.

Cladodes have areolas, which are small lumps from which glochids arise, clusters of small thorns.

They can have very different sizes, from small bushes, shrubs or even treelike structure.

We will speak specifically about the invasive species in the Canary Islands (Opuntia ficus and Opuntia dillenii), which are those that give us such delicious fruit: the so called “higo pico”, “higo picón” or “tuno”, and which are also responsible for the large number of cochineal which introduced The Canary Islands into the dye industry, as these insects, dried and used to produce carmine dye, abundantly proliferate in the prickle pear cactus.

OPUNTIA FICUS
This subspecies is known as “tunera común” and it features “blades” between 30 and 50cm, with not many little thorns. Adult “blades” may even not have thorns at all. Typically they reach 3-4 meters high.

Some people make a subtle difference between “Opuntia ficus-indica” or “Opuntia maxima”, which is the most abundant, and “Opuntia ficus-barbarica”, which have fewer thorns, but the difference is not that noticeable, not even professionals agree.

Excursiones Fuertecharter | Tuneras en Fuerteventura
©huismanfoto.eu
Excursiones Fuertecharter | Tuneras en Fuerteventura
©www.datuopinion.com

OPUNTIA DILLENII
Also known as Indian “tunera/penca” or “ink”. It features “blades” which are smaller than that of the “tunera común”, between 20 and 30 cm. The areolas have between 6 and 8 strong yellow thorns. They usually reach 2 meters high and the fruit pulp is typically red. It isn’t usual to find it above 300m of altitude, so it predominates in the coastal area.

Excursiones Fuertecharter | Tuneras en Fuerteventura

Excursiones Fuertecharter | Tuneras en Fuerteventura
©faluke.blogspot.com

TIPS TO CATCH PRICKLE PEARS WITHOUT PRICKLING ONE’S FINGERS
It is recommended catch “tunos” upwind, to prevent it from thrusting the thorns towards us. Also, using tongs and, once caught, throwing them to the ground and sweep them, or rubbing them against other resinous plant, so that thorns stick together. Hence it is advisable to put them under running water to remove any remaining thorns.

Excursiones Fuertecharter | Tuneras en Fuerteventura
©libredelacteos.com

Fuertecharter Team

 

Living in an island

 Living in an island, even for just a few days, makes you different.

Just the feeling of being surrounded by the sea calms you down —hence why people joke about the islanders’ placid character—. Maybe the majesty of its waters, which seems to stop time, makes you stop too and watch the sunrises and sunsets, the vast starry sky…

There are thousands of islands, some of them desert and some others inhabited, some closer and some farther away from civilization, some colder and some others warmer, many of them are paradise islands, but very few of them like Fuerteventura, enjoying good weather 12 moths a year and a 265 km coast line, which turn it into one of the preferred sun and beach tourist destinations and into one of the best European “aquatic parks”.

There is no feeling like that of waking up early in the morning, getting a foot out of the bed and almost feel the fresh morning mist on the beach sand. The sea is calling you, with the ceaseless lapping of the waves on the shore, so that you get ready to enjoy a new day bathed by the wind, the sun and the salt on the sea breeze.

Corralejo’s wharf is waiting for you, a little lethargic this early, and you hear the clinking of the sheets on the masts, as if impatient to meet the sea, as if the night had been too long and they had rested so much that they felt over-energetic and needed to take that boat ride.

And this is because Fuerteventura is a paradise that invites everyone to go on the sailing adventure.

Just looking at the horizon and following the sinuous outline of Lobos, with its latent magic, makes you feel attracted to the sea. A deep blue which becomes lighter and lighter until it turns turquoise; thousands of sea species that say hello to you and seem to even caress your boat and make you feel that you’re a part of this whole that the ocean is.

Living in an island like this one binds you to the sea almost unavoidably. In the wide offer of water activities there are options for everyone, from fishing, boat rides, to thousands of water sports: surf, kitesurf, windsurf, SUP, scuba diving, kayak, snorkel… all of them at your fingertips so that you decide, according to the conditions of the day and your skills, which one you prefer. Maybe today you fancy a catamaran ride!

Living in an island like this one is a fortune that from this moment and in this blog we’re going to share with all of you, letting you know about the environment, the activities, the fauna, the history, the interesting facts about this land, and its people, irredeemably bound to their surrounding sea.

If you are lucky to live in this paradise you’ll understand us perfectly well, and if you’re visitors or future visitors in our coasts, once you have lived for some days in the peace and quiet of this desert paradise, we know you’ll never forget Fuerteventura, and you’ll be able to follow us so that the island remains in your memories and you don’t miss the chance, if you have it, to visit us again.

                                                                                                                                                           FuerteCharter Team